Evening Classes from The Midnight Atelier

There are a couple of new Evening Classes getting booked up fast here at The Midnight Atelier and I thought I’d share them quickly!

The first is the wonderful Home Sewing Course! Book on this bad boy if you have been sewing at home, making your own clothing but can’t quite seem to get everything as you’d like it… maybe it’s troubles with Patterns, maybe a slight awkwardness with fit, whatever it is this Course will explain it away! Take a read, and click the image to book…

Home Sewing Poster Flier A6

 

Next up is the super, duper new Measuring and Pattern Evening! This promises to be great fun, and will take you through the processes of measuring yourself (properly) and recording those measurements on a chart so you have them to use again and again, then adapting a simple Bodice Block to fit. Having the confidence to do something like this before you cut your fabric is a magnificent thing. Book quick as places are being snapped up!!

Have a read and click to book…

measure pattern evening

 

Last but not least is my new Fitting Evening, ta daa!!

This baby is going to be hectic, but so so much fun… bring along those garments you have made to have them professionally fitted so that you can unpick, snip and stitch them back to the glorious pieces they were destined to become. No sewing will be done on the night, but you will leave with notes on how to manage the alterations, measurements and the confidence to do more!

Take a peek and book here…

 

fitting evening

 

Exciting times, no? Contact me with any questions,

Happy stitching!

 

A Tangled Stitch on Etsy

Dusken Spats PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit Eventide Corset PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit Mini Top Hat PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit

My Etsy Shop, A Tangled Stitch, is back open for business since closing after Christmas and my concerns about VAT issues which Etsy have waylaid for the time being. I am hoping to add in new products soon, but for the moment all of my Patterns are back on sale including the Eventide Corset Pattern, Dusken Spats Pattern and Original Mini Top Hat Pattern as well as a Pack of all three! I am keeping the reduced prices until the end of the month too, win!

If the Eventide Corset Pattern strikes your fancy remember that as well as teaching a Course in April, I also hosted a Sew-a-Long here for you to peruse as you make your very own Bespoke Corsetry.

sketch

As mentioned last year, I am hoping to add to and expand my Pattern line and am already sketching away on a couple of Dress designs, and a T-Shirt Pattern to begin with. All are inspired by Vintage lines but have the Midnight Ateliers classic, linear aesthetic which (hopefully!) lets the style lines shine through and pays homage to the past, but doesn’t imitate it.

I’m so excited because I am pouring all of my knowledge in to these patterns gained over the last few years of teaching. The sizes are a little more generous, the making up process a little simpler but easily manipulated in a series of ‘hacks’, and every Pattern will come with information on how to adapt them to fit perfectly.

I’ll start drafting the first Pattern soon, and I’m going to be making up a series of Samples for sale at the end of April in my Pop Up Shop (more news on that soon), I can’t wait to relieve myself of my current work load and get started! I’m hoping to offer the Patterns as both PDF’s and Hard Copies so there is much work to be done.

Is there a Pattern out there you’d like to see?

Happy stitching!

PDF Flash Sale

Because of new EU VAT Regulations (boy, am I tired of typing that, and so fed up with the situation), I will have to stop selling PDF Patterns through Etsy as of Midnight on December 31st 2014. This may seem to be a knee jerk reaction to the whole Vat Mess situation however; millions of small businesses are being effected by the (ridiculous, unfair and plain stupid) change- over 3.3 million in the UK alone- and this is a precautionary step to protect myself until we can figure out what the next step it… because all sources of help within HMRC are giving conflicting, incorrect or confusing advice and no-one seems to understand how we can comply, why indeed as a Small Business/Micro Business we should comply or what the next step might be.

Just to give you an overview, from 1st January 2015 if I sell a Digital File to another EU Country I have to pay VAT there. However there are 28 countries in the EU with 75 different VAT rates… so I have to register to pay VAT in every EU Country… and often I don’t know where my Customer is. I’m going to leave it there as I tend to start angry typing and become incoherent if I add more!!

I will still be offering Patterns as a hard copy however; the new regulations will include all products by the end of the year. The best explanation of the new regulations I have found is here, please read it if you are a small business as I was convinced the 80k threshold would protect me and it doesn’t. More interesting articles can be found here and here loosely explaining the situation and a very helpful Facebook Group has been set up here.

So, why not just sell to the US? As 80% of my business is with you guys- thanks by the way!- this is a viable solution. But wait… there’s a little piece of law which says I shouldn’t discriminate against selling to a certain Country without cause. I think this is cause not to sell to the EU, expecially when historically I don’t much however; there’s another really, huge, big issue with this. I sell on Etsy, who aren’t going to help me to distinguish between Countries so I can’t do this and keep this side of my business afloat. Great.

So, we’re left with several options… just sell Hard Copy Patterns with a complimentary PDF, just sell Hard Copy, or find another platform to sell on so I can distinguish between Countries so I can only sell outside of the EU which looks like it might be a more permanent solution for the size of my business.

 

Any hoo, because of this ”VAT Mess” I’m having a Flash Sale on all PDF Patterns…

Mini Top Hat PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit Eventide Corset PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit

Mini Top Hat PDF (above, left) £3.25      Eventide Corset PDF (above, right) £4.25

Dusken Spats PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit

**NEW** Dusken Spats PDF (above) £4.25

Costume Sewing Patterns Selection Pack inc. Victorian Corset, Steampunk Burlesque Mini Top Hat and Steampunk Spats

All three PDF Patterns (above) £10

How’s about that then? They’ll only be available for the next two days… eek!! Click the images to buy 🙂

Happy stitching

Advance Preview… and some exciting news!

Well Ladies and Gents (and I’m looking at you Gents!), here is a little sneaky peeky of what’s to come next Spring from The Midnight Atelier! And what treats there are!!

Firstly, we are on the move! Hooray!! B9 no more… I shall soon be found at A5 Pithay Studios which is a much larger room- and once was a Film Studio which I thought was very apt!- tucked away in a corner between a Gym and a Band! I have a month to do some serious maintenance, decorating and I shall re-open on 26th January. I can’t wait!!

I can fit in more sewing machines, a dedicated computer area for designing Patterns and Sewing Kits, and even an arm chair! I think the Courses already reflect my renewed passion for teaching, which has ebbed slightly because of the space and noise restrictions in my current studio, and I am definitely viewing it as an opportunity to re-launch and re-publicize what I am doing. I am SO excited to get started!!

And so, here it is, the new Class Schedule for The Midnight Atelier… booking will start on Friday where for 48 hours if you book a course you get 10% off of the Course Price! Woop!!

As ever, email me for any information at laura@lauraaftermidnight.com. If you are popping along to The Bristol Sewing Club Christmas Party you will be able to advance book any of the Courses with the above offer. I must love you guys (I do!).

I am very excited to introduce Crochet Club which starts on the 10th January, the proceeds on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month for FREE. Join me as I fumble my way through learning to master this dark art… other will be on hand to impart wisdom and advice and as it is held in the Pithay’s own Phoenix Cafe I can also promise nice cups of Tea and Coffee as well as a treat or two!

We’re off to a grand start aren’t we? Next up the first of my ‘Project Days’. Aimed at Beginner Sewers, or those who want to master a specific technique or just stitch up a simpler project in  a day, I am rather excited about them! They’re scattered across Saturdays, cheap as chips, often include Patterns and Fabric and should be excellent fun…

Vintage Bag Project Day

17th January 10-4pm £35 6 places

Re-Create a Vintage Bag in a day! Pattern provided, simply bring along fabric of your choice! All levels of sewing experience welcome however; some Sewing experience would be an advantage.

T-Shirt Project Day

31st January 12-4pm £25 6 places

Learn to sew stretch fabrics and make a T-Shirt in a day! Includes guidance sewing with Twin Needles and working with Stretch Fabrics. You will need to bring 1.5  meters of fabric, pattern included. All levels of sewing experience welcome.

The first of my Courses is here by popular demand, and there will be two patterns to choose from including this one from Sewaholic… I have tried to keep the Courses cost effective and included Patterns where possible.

Trench Coat Course

28th January 5 Weeks £75 inc. Pattern 6 places

Choose from two Patterns to make a beautiful Trench Coat for Spring. This course would suit adventurous Beginners or Intermediate Sewers, and will cover several different types of Seaming, Top Stitching and aspects of sewing up a more technical Coat. This course includes the Pattern, please email me if you have any questions regarding fabric selection or amounts.

Sew Over It’s Tea Dress Sewing Course

3rd February 5 Weeks £78 inc Pattern only 5 places left already!!

In January I shall be leading a cheerful, banish this Winter Blues Tea Dress Class! Using Sew Over It’s lovely 1940s Tea Dress Pattern– which is included in the price of the Course so you have reference material, and can make it again if you wish!- this Course will cover Cutting Out, making adjustments to the Pattern (if needed), sewing up and fitting as well as stitchery details like inserting invisible zips and hand finishing to make this lovely Vintage inspired Dress. You’ll need to bring your fabric but all other materials will be supplied, as well as a much deserved cup of tea and a biscuit or two. All levels of sewing experience welcome.

Perfect Jeans/Trousers Course

5th February 5 Weeks £70 inc. Pattern 6 places

Skinny, Retro, Hipster or Classic, on this course you will make the perfect pair of Jeans for you. From Adapting the Pattern, to inserting a Fly Front, Top Stitching everything and Learning to Fit Trousers, this course is not for the faint of heart, but will be so much fun! Previous experience sewing would be an advantage and this course would suit adventurous Beginners or Intermediate Sewers best. Bring your own Pattern to make the perfect pair of Jeans or Trousers, along with Fabric, Zip and Contrast Top Stitch Thread. Why not bring along a favoured pair of Jeans to gain inspiration from as well? Please email me if you are struggling to choose a pattern, or would like help with fabrics etc.

Machine Embroidery Project Day

14th February 1-5pm £25 6 places

Learn this super simple and incredibly addictive technique in a day. Includes guidance sewing with different types of thread (inc. metallic etc), free motion machine embroidery and embroidery techniques. All levels of sewing experience welcome.

Up-Cycling Project Day

7th March 10-4pm £35 6 places

Pop along to this raucous event and Up-Cycle a  to be photographed, popped on the Bristol Sewing Club Facebook Group and get voted on,a la The Great British Sewing Bee!! Best Up-Cycle will win big! Includes basic guidance on reinventing clothing, patterning, changing and altering clothing.  All levels of sewing experience welcome.

Shirt Course- Menswear or Womenswear

10th March 5 Weeks £85 inc. Pattern 6 places

Learn to make a beautiful Men’s Shirt; Ladies fitted Shirt or Shirt Dress on this Course which would suit adventurous Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced Sewers alike, and Men are very much welcome! There’s nothing better than a crisp, handmade Shirt! Guidance will be given on fit, cutting out, plackets and collars and several different types of seaming. Pattern included, all you need to bring is fabric. Please email me at laura@lauraaftermidnight.com for information regarding fabric choices and quantities.

Vintage Pattern Course

12th March 4 Weeks £65 6 places

Bring that steal of a pattern you bought but don’t know how to make, or is the wrong size, along and create the garment you have been dreaming of! Includes guidance on Vintage Sewing techniques and terminology, as well as construction and altering  Patterns to fit. This course suits all levels of Sewers however; it could be a wonderful opportunity for intermediate Sewers to really make something unusual!

Leggings Project Day

14th March 1-5pm £25 6 places

Whip up a dangerously quick pair of leggings in this one day course and learn to work with stretch fabric, insert an elasticated waistband and hem with a double needle whilst sipping tea! Pattern included, simply bring 2 meters of brilliant v4-way stretch jersey! All levels of sewing experience welcome.

Mens Sewing Project Day

28th March 1-5pm £35 6 places

Learn to make a Tie, Bow Tie or classy Cravat in this afternoon of introductory Sewing for Men! Not for the faint of heart, as we stitch up a stylish creation which will be the envy of all. Pattern and fabric included however; feel free to bring fabric if you are looking for something particular. All levels of sewing experience welcome.

Well, what do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts, or if you think I should be teaching something I’m not. For those of you begging me to do it, Pattern Making will probably run in April, and Patchwork towards the end of the Summer.

Don’t forget you can pop along to Bristol Sewing Club most Mondays and Wednesdays but remember to Book In here to avoid disappointment!!

Booking for the Courses goes live Friday, and you will be able to save 10% if you book a place in the first 48 hours!!

Happy stitching!

Week 1: Adjusting the Eventide Corset Pattern to Fit

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Detailed instructions are given in the Eventide Corset Instruction Book however; I’d like to expand them a little with this Re-sizing Patterns to Fit post.

Although I am obviously doing this for the Eventide Corset Pattern, the basic principles apply when adjusting all Patterns to Fit your figure. I will admit that this technique will only get you so far, and would like to stress that a Fitting it always a good idea (unless you have a decade of experience like me!). A fitting will iron out all of the teeny tiny details and make any garment look oodles better however; the first step is to alter your Pattern to get a better approximation of your body than we currently have.

Firstly, take accurate measurements of your Bust, Waist and Hips and make a note of them. Reduce the measurements according to the instructions (roughly 10cm, but this is explained in greater detail in the Instruction Book), and make a note of this also.

With the reduced set of measurements, decide which Size is closest to yours. For example, the reduced measurements I am going to be working with are Bust 114cm, Waist 89cm and Hips 122cm which are closest to a Medium Size of the Eventide Corset Pattern. 

Once decided, cut or trace off the Size you wish to make (tracing off ensures you can re-use the Pattern, or have it to refer to if you make any mistakes).

Now the Maths bit… and yes, I heard you groan!

You will need to decide how much you need to add or take away from the Pattern to make it fit you, and in which areas. To do this you will need to subtract the Corset Pattern measurements from yours, then divide them in half. For example… my Bust measurement is 114cm which is 7cm larger than the Pattern Divided in half this is 3.5cm, which is what I need to add in to the Pattern to make it fit.

Repeat for the Waist and Hip measurements. I now know at this point that I need to add in 3.5cm to the Bust, 3cm to the Waist and 5cm to the Hips. You may be asking why we are further complicating things by dividing everything in half… this is because we will be working from the Pattern which is only half of you!

After all this Maths, you will need to start altering the Pattern. Again, there are complete instructions in the Eventide Corset Book however, this should explain things further.

Firstly, I lay all of the Pattern Pieces out in a line, with the Waist Line running parallel. I find this helps me visualize a little better what I am doing. Then, I make a note of where I would like to do the adjustments:adjust 1Normally, I would steer clear of adjusting the Front and Side Front Panels however, as I am making this Corset for a curvier Woman, I’d like to add in a little more room. They are also the narrowest Panels and I’d like to even this out a little for this Corset. As you can see I have made note to add in the required amount to the Bust, Waist and Hips. 

Make these adjustments as follows… …

adjust 2I have zoned the adjustments where possible, in this instance  both the Front and Side Front Panels are having 1cm added in to them. For this adjustment I can simply cut up the “Enlarge or Reduce” line, move the pieces 1cm away from each other then Sellotape on to some Pattern Paper in this position. 

For the Side, Side Back and Back Panels, I only need to adjust a portion so I will cut up the same line BUT leave a little bit un-cut at the end (Yellow Circles), as a pivot point. I can then move each side of each Panel away from each other as before but leave the Bust or Hips unaffected. Again, I shall Sellotape this adjustment on to a new piece of Pattern Paper.

As you may have noticed, I needed to adjust the Waist +3.5cm and I have only managed 3cm so far. This is not a real issue as- where the Green Crosses are- a slight adjustment has been made and as you can see each side has been moved a fraction because of this so I am happy that this is enough.

Obviously, when reducing the Corset the same techniques can be used but in reverse.

Adjustments to Corset Patterns are a funny business. Unlike when adjusting standard Patterns, the end product will alter the shape of you. If you find that you cannot manage to quite make an adjustment perfect do not stress yourself!! Smaller adjustments can be managed in the Fitting stage, simply make a note and have a cuppa.

Don’t forget that you can view the schedule for Corset Month here, grab your very own swanky copy of the Eventide Pattern here (PDFs are only £8!!), or grab some inspiration for your Corsetry with Corset Month on Pinterest.

Tomorrow, I shall be talking about handling fabric like Lace and Sequined Fabrics and cutting out your Corset! Eek!!

Happy stitching!

ON SALE NOW!!!

Get your Eventide Corset Pattern, PDF Eventide Pattern or Eventide Corset Kit while you can to join in the Sew-a-Long starting on the 21st… go on! It’s going to be amazing!!

Available now on my Etsy store…

corset pattern listing KIT 1

The Eventide Corset Pattern and Kit… £42 +P&P

Includes multi-size, graded re-usable Eventide Corset Pattern, Instruction Book with recommended Equipment and Suppliers, and full instructions to make the Corset up including re-sizing the Pattern to  fit you perfectly. Also included are Coutil, Steel Boning, Busk and Tipping. Only a limited number are available!

3 corset pattern listing

 The Eventide Corset Pattern… £12 +P&P

The graded, multi size and re-usable Eventide Pattern and Instruction Book… all wrapped up and ready to go with a bow on top!

corset pattern listing pdf 7

PDF Eventide Corset Pattern… £8

If you can’t wait to start!

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The Little Book of Corset Tips… £2.50 +P&P

Notes, hints and tips from the Instruction Book,  this is an informative little tome! It contains the Supplier and Equipment information, notes of adapting Corset Patterns and more. It’s so cute, how could you resist?

Snap all of these up from my Etsy store and use Coupon Code CORSET15 for 15% off until 21st April.

Happy stitching!

Studio Snippets

Today I thought I would share some images of some gorgeous Medieval inspired Costumes I Designed and Made Up a couple months ago. I think I am in love with quilting again, and intend to make up some Bolero Jackets and Spats featuring this rather elaborate technique…

20130927_141640 20130927_151545

This is a technique I have employed before for Historical Costumes. Not only is it accurate (-ish, I do it by Machine), it is a cost effective trick to create a brilliantly elaborate piece!

I first made a Paper Pattern for the Doublet, then drew the Quilted Design on to it to make sure it would work, and that I liked it. It is very easy to become a little too intricate so drawing out the pattern is a very good exercise! I then- somewhat free hand- drew the Pattern on to the Jerkin with tailors chalk, making slight adjustments to ensure it matched both sides because there were to be eyelets and lacing down the front and a seam at the back.

I backed the Blue Linen with very thin wadding and a lining- cut about 10cm larger than the Linen as there is to be expected some amount of movement when machine quilting- then started in the middle with the circles and worked outwards. When employing this technique I use a medium large stitch on my sewing machine and just take it slow. The whole jacket took about 7 hours to quilt in full but I am so pleased with the results, and can’t wait to see pictures of it in action!

20130925_124637

Above is some fabric I created for a Dark Queen Costume around the same time as the Doublet. I made it up on to a Waspie for the Costume, which looked just fantastic.

I worked with some Black Coutil for the base, then placed two layers of Gold Lace, a layer of Matt Black Sequinned Lace on top. I then Machine Stitched in Gold to outline the Pattern of the Sequins. This looked simply gorgeous and I fully intend to create a full length, Victorian Corset using the technique. It only took a couple hours because tracing around the outline of the Sequin pattern was done semi-freehand.

20130926_123630 20130926_125646

I think I am becoming a little ‘known’ for my Machine Embroidery techniques!!

This above is a sample of some freehand machine embroidery I created for Dark Queens costume. I adapted and echoed the pattern from the Sequinned Lace and added in my own embellishments to create this piece of fabric which was ultimately cut up in to little strips!

Whilst machine embroidery is a relatively quick technique- which is why I use it so frequently in my Costumes, as if done correctly it can look like Medieval style hand embroidery or Black Work- it can still take time and I think I spent about 20 hours Quilting and Embroidering for this commission! I was quite content though, and adore the out come.

If you like the look of Machine Embroidery, why not check out Bristol Sewing Club to learn? I am also working on a handy little Zine full of hints and tips for the budding Machine Embroiderer too. I think it is a wonderful thing to master and can be used so many different ways.

Happy stitching!

Sew Your Own Wardrobe!!

With much trepidation, I purchased the new Great British Sewing Bee book a couple weeks ago. Finally, it popped through my door. We’ve had a little trouble with the Royal Mail this neck of the woods, and much apologies to all of my customers who have been affected. A little heavier than expected, I unwrapped it and was immensely surprised when I saw the Book and HUGE Pattern Pack!

I knew the Book came with Patterns however; I wasn’t prepared for how many, how usable they are, and how many I want to make up, like, right now!!

beebook1   beebook2

For some reason I had read ’5 Pattern Sheets’ as 5 Patterns however; the Book actually comes with Patterns for all of the designs in the Book. These include Leggings, a Waistcoat and Mens Shirt Pattern- just some of the Patterns for Men!- Tops, Skirts, Dresses and even a Coat. There are a couple projects to do based around Up-Cycling and Patternless sewing and loads of tips. It’s a real bargain to be honest.

I have a couple of favourites already, which I’d like to start stitching up as soon as possible. I love this Bowling Shirt and 1930s Blouse, and I even have fabric in my stash so there is really no excuse! I am tracing both out for use at Sewing Club, as they’re both excellent Beginner and Intermediate Sewing makes.

beebook4 beebook5

I may even go crazy, and make that 1930s Blouse in to a dress! Watch out for my posts about making these up, as I am going to have to make many, many adjustments to make them fit. As I measure it I’ll have to add in 6″ to the length of the body alone! Eep!! The Bowling Shirt will definitely have to have some darts or shaping added in for me above the bust as well and I’ll post on how to do this as I make them up.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your copy here… happy stitching!

Notions Zines

As you may have noticed, I am following along with the Great British Sewing Bee, and I am hoping you are finding the many and varied Tutorials, hints and tips useful!

If you are a beginner Seamstress, you may want to check out my Notions Zine Series, which is a collection of mini magazines all with a theme and all about helping you sew more professionally!

zine promo

Included in the series so far are booklets on ZipsUnderstanding PatternsSeamsDarts, Tucks, Pleats and Gathers and a mini mini booklet all about the Vintage Sewing Books here at Midnight Heights. They are fully illustrated either with unique and original illustrations or examples taken from my Vintage Sewing books.

All are available as either a hard copy format, or as an instant downloadable PDF, individually or as a lovely bundle of sewing goodies!!

To buy, visit my Etsy shop, happy stitching!